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Plasma cleaning & plasma surface modification

Plasma process quality assurance
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Quality assurance test equipment

For our quality assurance and to support our process development as well as the materials processing contracts various test methods and measurement techniques are employed to ensure we comply with the relevant standards and customer specifications.

Measurement Systems and test methods.

Tensile testing machine

Tensile testing machines are used to determine material characteristics. Tensile strength and elongation diagrams can be charted. Various stretch, compression and bending tests enabeling us to assess the effects on parts or materials such as polymers or elastomers. Additionally, we can evaluate the effectiveness of our processes, like plasma activation or plasma priming, on improving the adhesive bonding strengths or paint adhesion.

Tensile tester used for quality control of the processes to improve adhesion

Microscope

Gives a closer inspection of plasma modified surfaces. Changes in the structure after plasma treating can be observed. After destructive testing the breakage pattern of the glue can be evaluated. To observe if the breakage was cohesive or adhesive for example.

Microscope for examining material surfaces

Surface hardness tester

Used to test the scratch resistance and abrasion resistance from parts and materials. Testing after DIN 55656:2014-12 by sliding a point with a defined loading across the surface of the test piece where the depth of the scratch in the surface indicates the surface hardness. With this test method we can assess the improvement achieved by plasma coating or surface modification.

surface hardness tester

IR Camera

Infrared cameras give the intensity of the infrared spectrum over the surface of the part. This corresponds to the temperature. Plasma transmits energy into the work piece which heats it up. Therefore we can get a visual record of heating homogenity.

Temperature monitoring with IR camera

Optical spectrometry (plasma analyzer)

With optical spectrometry it is possible to monitor the spectrum of the plasma (color) as well as changes over time. This gives a more accurate informations of processes and allows quicker adaption of their parameters.

Spectrum Spectrum analyzer for plasma proces monitoring

Contact angle meter

To determine the surface energy of a material a small amount of fluid is applied to the surface of the work piece. The steepness of the angle of the drop surface is measured. This indicates the ability of the fluid to wet the surface. Many polymers have a very high contact angle due to their low surface energy. This indicates they will be difficult or impossible to print, bond or paint. After plasma activation the contact angle is normally flat indicating the workpiece can be printed, bonded or painted easily.

Surface energy measuring

LABS test

A German term for paint repelling surface test. Often referred to the orange peel effect. Due to contamination on the surface the paint repels from the surface. Especially in small angles and cavities usual cleaning methods doesn’t work. Plasma cleaning is a three-dimensional treatment which dissolves contamination. The LABS test offers evidence that the plasma cleaning was effective and the parts are ready to be painted. With specified solvents the offending substances are dissolved from the surface, extracted and then coated on a defined surface. The remaining substances get painted after drying. The result gets examined. We carry out these tests in accordance to PV 3.10.7, VDMA 24364 or customer’s specifications.

Pait wetting test

Cross cut test

Standart test for determining the adhesion of paint to a substrate as detailed in DIN EN ISO 2409 or ASTM D3359-02. With a 6 bladed cutting edge a grid pattern is formed. With a soft brush particles are getting removed. After an adhesive tape is applied on the grid it is pulled off. The amount of paint removed from the surface and ashering to the tape is assed and compared to the customers' specification. Due to the results process parameters can ce adapted.

Paint adhesion test